MORE patients found to be obese are being treated at Barnsley Hospital, according to new NHS statistics.

The report, released through NHS Digital, shows that from 2018 to 2019 there were 2,760 admissions where obesity was given as the primary or secondary diagnosis at the hospital.

From 2017 to 2018, this figure stood at 1,630 - meaning Barnsley Hospital saw almost 70 per cent more patients through its doors whose condition could be directly or indirectly related to them being overweight.

This leaves the rate of diagnoses related to obesity at 1,126 per 100,000 people - slightly lower than the national average of 1,615, but higher than Leeds and Sheffield.

A secondary diagnosis of obesity denotes any admission where obesity was identified as a factor relevant to a person’s care, but which may not have directly led to their admission.

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Common diagnoses linked with obesity related to maternity issues, arthrosis of the knee and hip - a degenerative condition affecting cartilage - and gallstones.

Women are much more likely than men to be given a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity, with 1,030 males diagnosed compared to 1,730 females.

The report proposes that hospitals may be ‘more likely to record obesity as a secondary diagnosis than they were previously’ as a reason for the increase.

Earlier this year, a study revealed Barnsley as one of the most inactive places in the country.

The town was identified by Medicspot as the 28th most inactive place in England, with more than one in four adults not getting the right amount of exercise.

Just under half of children and young people aged five to 18 were classes as physically active in the same study.

NHS guidelines state adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, per week, while children and young people should be active for an hour every day.

The report states: “The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are well documented and there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that regular activity is related to reduced incidence of many chronic conditions.”

According to the figures, the number of primary diagnoses of obesity in Barnsley fell from 50 admissions to 40 - a rate of 17 per 100,000 people.

There has been an upward trend nationally of hospital admissions directly attributed to obesity over the last five years - and despite the recent recovery, Barnsley reflects this, rising from 33 admissions in 2014 to 2015.

Barnsley Council has attempted to combat the rise with its ‘food plan’ - which was implemented in 2018, and runs for another year.

Part of the Public Health Strategy, the plan aims to reduce sugar consumption, stamp out junk food marketing aimed at kids, and improve access to healthy food options.

Coun Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesman, said: “Barnsley Council’s food plan is about changing the food environment and culture within the town as well as improving access to quality food.

“Our approach focuses on developments to the policies and structures which we live, work, shop, eat and learn within, focusing on the social, cultural and environmental conditions around us.”